The Kansas City Chiefs selected Oregon RB De'Anthony Thomas with the 24th pick of the fourth round in the 2014 NFL Draft, 124th overall.
“I’m very excited," Thomas said about joining the Chiefs. "I’m just ready to play some NFL football and contribute to this team."
When asked about his versatility, Thomas didn't hesitate in responding.
"I’m just waiting for that moment to take a lot of kicks back for that team and just contribute on both sides, offensively and special teams."
Thomas holds Oregon records for kickoff return yards (1,885) and punt return average (17.13), and he's fourth in career scoring (278 points). Known for his blazing speed, Thomas was also a key contributor to the university’s track and field team. He anchored the 4x100-meter relay that advanced to the 2012 NCAA Championships and ran the sixth-fastest time in school history, 39.89 seconds. Competing on the 2013 outdoor squad, he clocked the second-fastest time in both the 100 meters (10.31) and 200 meters (21.17) behind Ducks sophomore sensation, Arthur Delaney.
Chiefs area scout Trey Koziol spoke more about Thomas' versatility that he brings to the team.
"First and foremost, he's an explosive playmaker," Koziol said. "He's got world-class speed; he ran track on the Oregon track team, which is one of the better programs in the country. He's the all-time leading punt return average guy in Oregon school history. He has the most kick return yards in school history; in addition to that, he's averaged over six yards a carry as a running back. I think with his speed and his explosiveness in the open field, I think there are a variety of ways we can find a way to use him on offense and special teams."
The Chiefs newest draft pick was asked about playing with fellow track star, Chiefs three-time Pro Bowl RB
"I'm excited to play with him and learn from him," Thomas said.
Thomas shared team MVP honors with tight end David Paulson and Pac-12 Conference co-Offensive Freshman of the Year accolades, during his first season with the Oregon Ducks. He would become the only player in college to gain at least 400 yards as a receiver, ball carrier and kick returner in 2010, leading the league while placing 10th nationally with a 27.31-yard kickoff return average, running back two for scores.
De'Anthony also compiled 595 yards, scoring seven touchdowns on 55 carries (10.82 ypc), while starting six of 14 games. He was second on the team with 46 receptions for 605 yards that included nine more scores. He ranked 11th in the FBS with an average of 159.64 all-purpose yards per game, amassing 2,235 yards, the second-highest total in school history.